How To Stop Binge Eating

Tips to stop overeating, stop emotional eating, stop eating fast food, stop eating junk food

It's all or nothing!

This topic contains 62 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Lauren 4 years, 10 months ago.

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    Well, today has been the last straw! I know a lot of you, including me, have felt this way so many times, but I’ve really had it now. I’ve had a pretty good day, sorted some laundry, ironed some clothes, cleaned up my closet, went grocery shopping. I haven’t binged for several days now. I’m not counting my binge-free days because I think that not binging should be the norm, and counting these days makes them somewhat special, which they are not and should not be. Anyway, I haven’t binged, but I’ve been eating whatever I wanted and I probably overate a bit on several occasions. What I had today was some chocolate, chips and nuts (yeah, I got into letting myself have what I crave). I think I had a bit too many of the chips and nuts, and although it wasn’t too bad I still felt pretty nasty after all this junk food I’d had. Usually when I feel this way I skip the gym, but today I decided not to let this screw up my entire day and my plans, so I went to work out.

    Well, I sure had my reality check at the gym when I realized I couldn’t jog at all, not even at 5.3 mh because I had a horrible stomach ache after my “healthy” diet today. So I retrieved to the exercise bike and had a long conversation with myself. I ended up having a good work-out after all, with some biking, walking, and even a bit of jogging at the end. But what I’ve realized and decided for myself is that intuitive eating is not for me. Once I told myself that I CAN have the foods I want, that there are no prohibited foods, I just basically eat junk all the time. I am seriously worried about my health now. When I restricted myself I NEVER even wanted stuff like chips or sugary ice-cream. I just didn’t consider such products food at all.

    So am I any happier now that I don’t “restrict” myself?? Not in the least! On the opposite! I loved eating healthy, avoiding certain foods, exercising and staying thin! Then at some point I broke down.. I had an injury, couldn’t work out and got all depressed, which resulted in binging. I’ve been trying to fight it by intuitive eating, but I just eat food that I know is not good for me and gain weight.

    It’s so much easier for me to just say that some food is completely out of my diet than to have a little bit of it when I feel like and stop at that. I mean, I can keep being “good” to myself and not set any food restrictions, but hey, there will ALWAYS be tasty treats I’ll want. It’ll be pizza today, ice-cream tomorrow, chocolate the day after tomorrow. Junk food is addictive and the more of it you eat, the more you want. So I want all of it out of my life. I intend to exclude sugary treats, salty snacks, fatty pastas and a lot of other unhealthy things from my diet altogether. I just know that if I let myself have even a small bite of any of those I will never be able to put an end to this.

    I know I’ll probably get a lot of criticism for this posting, but maybe intuitive eating really is not for everyone?? What do you think?



    Hi Babycakes

    I think intuitive eating is eating what you want to eat; Except, eating something because you want to feel good would qualify as wanting to eat it too? I see your point though. If you always want icecream more than you want to feel good, then it would be difficult. I don’t believe there is one way for everybody… As long as you don’t end up rebelling against yourself. Intuitive eating works for me because I mainly eat the things I want that will make me feel good, it’s only when the craving can surpass that, that I end up eating junk.




    I finally found a forum of yours !

    Omg, i completely agree with everything you said. ‘intuitive eating’ my ass ! It’s just an excuse we use to eat absolute crap ! And even if it does work, it certainly is not for people who can’t trust themselves around food. We’re recovering fron BINGE eating.

    I’m so proud of you for the way you bounced up from over-eating. And i know the gym always clears my head too.

    I say do whatever you feel will help you get over this. Right now, for me, that’s calorie counting. People will tell you it’s bad and i agree. But one step at a time. Go at your own pace. Restricting bad food might be the first step. When you have more control it might be easier to incorporate those foods in (though i personally don’t think they are necessary at all..and they’re adictive and unsatisfying !

    Anyway, sorry i rambled. I’m just happy there’s someone else out there that thinks similiar to me. I hope this new healthy approach works for you, i trully do ! :)

    And if i havn’t said it already, thank you sooooo much for all your support on my forum !



    hey babaycakes, im beginning to agreee… i have followed semi initutive eating for a while and all i literally want is fatty junk food.. i think i am addicted. yesterday for example this was not a binge day i had 1 medium box of popcorn and 100g butterscotch chips hahah. however i think that i am going to start eating healthy food ( which i love aswell and whatever i want of it… ) and i think anything hoem cooked using fresh ingredients is healthy.. i think its silly of us to cut out thinks like oil, butter, cheese. i may allow myself a treat a day.. i dunno! anyway hope you have a brill day. xx



    I don’t know if intuitive eating is for everyone, but it seems to me like you haven’t quite given it a shot. Geneen Roth says that if you use intuitive eating as an excuse to just eat junk all the time…you’re not practicing intuitive eating. It’s about giving your body and mind what it TRULY wants, not just fulfilling every fleeting craving. It also requires active self-examination to recognize your body signals (physical, mental and emotional). In my opinion if you think you’re eating intuitively but all you eat is crap and you’re gaining weight or feeling awful…you need to become more in tune. If I’m not wrong, I believe you haven’t been around the forum for very long, so maybe you should read a bit more and give yourself a chance? Recovery is an active process. You need to educate yourself before you can expect whatever philosophy to work for you.

    That said, sure, try whatever you think will work for you, but don’t forget that past restriction got you here. It didn’t work.

    Good luck :)



    Thank you for all your responses and understanding! I really feel very determined and empowered to get over this problem, whatever it takes!

    EscapeArtist – I totally agree with you that intuitive eating is about having what you want when you’re hungry and what makes you feel good. The problem is that cheesecakes and chocolate and other tasty things do make me feel good, a bit too good perhaps! :-) And this is why it’s so hard to stop eating them once I get started. There’s a physiological explanation to that too – they’re “empty calories”, they don’t offer any nutrition to the body, so it keeps asking for more food it needs. So I think that since it’s so much easier (and healthier) for me not to eat that kind of food at all, than to take a couple small bites and stop at that, maybe this is the way to go for me.

    lollilo – yeah, I agree that calorie counting is not the best option. But you know, I think that you stick to it for the same reason I want to exclude certain foods altogether – it gives us some kind of structure or plan to follow, and it really is easier to work on your problems when you have a plan. Again, I know that restrictions of any sort are bad, and I wish I could eat intuitively starting right now, but we all know it’s not so easy and, like you said, it takes one step at a time. I do count calories too, but I’ve become so much less obsessed with it now, which is good. I think this is something I’ll be able to get over, and so will you! But if this is what you need right now, to give you some kind of discipline instead of the total chaos we often feel in our minds and bodies, then do what makes you comfortable!

    And, this is actually the second thread I started, my complete boring story is posted here

    coralie – absolutely right! I am setting NO restrictions at all on the things that I love but that are also good for me! I can eat fruits and vegetables in any amount I want, as well as other natural products I love! But I want the processed foods out because it seems that they are my worst triggers. I may eat some chocolate and tell myself I deserve it, and this is my daily treat, but my body will be like, “wait, that was too sweet, I want something salty and crunchy now, go get me some nuts” etc. :-) This never happens to me when I eat healthy food. If I had apples, my body never says it wants oranges now. I don’t know… this may sound silly, but this is how it works for me.

    bunny – no, I haven’t been around this forum for too long, but gosh have a I read a TON about nutrition, intuitive eating, including Geneen Roth, and have been working on this for a long time already. I don’t think intuitive eating is about eating crap, I know much better than that. And maybe I didn’t phrase it well enough in my posting, but crap is not ALL I eat. In fact, I just used the word “junk” in the wrong way. I never eat real junk food… like McDonald’s and supermarket food. Even when I have pizza, it’s organic, whole wheat pizza. Chips – organic, kettle-boiled chips. I have almonds for a crunchy snack, which cannot be called a junk food either. And I certainly don’t fulfill my every craving or I wouldn’t still be size 2 by now. I really wanted to try to be good to myself and incorporate some of these foods into my diet, but now I’m thinking, what for? Ok, I can treat myself and have my daily guilt-free pleasure of ice-cream or something else I may want… and there will always be something sweet, salty, and fatty I’ll want. I will feel good for some 10 minutes enjoying its taste, but what then? It’s unhealthy and its fattening. So are these 10 minutes worth it?? Probably not. It’s really hard to explain exactly what I’m trying to say… I think right now my body is somewhat “intoxicated” by sugar etc. and sweet, salty foods are addictive, as we all know, so unless I take them out completely, at least for a while, I will not be able to stop this. I mean, if an alcoholic wants to stop drinking, would we recommend him to have a little bit of alcohol when he’s thirsty and to stop when he no longer is? It may not be a very good example but this is how I feel right now. I hope I’ll arrive at intuitive eating eventually. I’ve chosen this way to it, we’ll see if it works. After all, I don’t have much more to lose at this point.



    Hey everyone! Just a quick update since it’s time for bed now. Today went pretty good. I had a really crazy and stressful day at work, but since I said no to unhealthy food I treated myself to apples instead (I wanted them too). Even the chocolates in the office did not tempt me today. Since I didn’t take a single one of them and didn’t feel its taste, I didn’t even care and didn’t want them at all. I don’t know if setting restrictions on certain food is right… in fact, I think there is no such thing as “right” for everyone. We’re different, and different things work for us. For now I’ll continue with my plan and I won’t let my mind play its tricks on me, like “you can take two bites and put it away”. I know I will not be able to put it away, so I’m not taking the bites.



    welll done babycakes.. yeah we are all different and also everybody has different tastes. for me i love chocolate but i also know if i eat some i usually want more. i think if ur absolutely craving it you can have it and enjoy it, without feeling guilty but if not i dont see why u should have just to be normal if you get me.

    keep it up hun, u seem to be getting it right! xx



    Thank you, Coralie!!! Well, after a very successful day yesterday I decided to have a little experiment today. It was risky, but it was worth it for sure! Lately I’ve started to trace this pattern that my binges/ overeating usually start with sweets(chocolate more specifically). So today I had two tiny chocolates at work, even though I didn’t really want them. And guess what?? Yep, by the time I got home I was quite ready to binge. I didn’t binge and I even managed not to overeat, but I am more convinced now that I should stay away from sweets of any kind. Usually it goes like this: a little bit of chocolate – sugar level in the blood is up – craving more sweets – have had more sweets – want to get rid of the sweet aftertaste – reach for something salty… sometimes it stops at that, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Anyway, I think I’ll try to stay away from sugars for a while and see how that works out. I know this is so wrong from the point of view of intuitive eating, but I feel like this may be the right way for me.



    so in the same awful situation. i think that what we r missing is real food and nutrients. the snacking is due to that dont u think? hope u r ok today. hugd



    Ecu – I agree! Sometimes I just don’t feel hungry and I decide to have a snack instead of a full meal, and this snack may turn into overeating or a binge. I’m sure that eating regular healthy meals should solve this problem. It’s just often hard for me to find the time for three good meals a day because of work and other stuff but since these things are not as important as my health I will make an effort to keep a regular eating routine.



    Hey I think that intuitive eating is something that we definitely have to ease into because coming from calorie counting and limiting foods to “free for all” eating usually does end up in bingeing/over-eating because our brains can’t wrap itself around the idea of eating in moderation. And for a LONG time I was in the same boat as you, I didn’t trust intuitive eating because I thought I would eat junk and crap ALL THE TIME for every meal….and that it caused to much anxiety to have it as a possibility in my diet…MUCH easier just to restrict it. But the bottom line is that restriction will always eventually result in feeling deprived and then once you do “cave” and have something it is virtually impossible to stop at a decent amount because your body & mind feels so deprived by that point. If you do allow all foods in your diet in moderation, sure in the beginning LOTS of over eating, but after time your mind realizes you aren’t going to start restricting those foods again, and your body begins to crave healthy wholesome food again (with treats craved in moderation) so that way you are now free to eat all foods without fear, without rules, without deprivation. Thats how it normally goes down. Hugs, L



    I haven’t posted for a long time, but I’ve been following most of your posts and meanwhile thinking and reading a lot about BED, intuitive eating, nutrition, healthy lifestyle… you name it! I’ve been thinking and researching a lot not about not only the psychological but also the physiological causes of binging, and I think I have a better understanding of my problem and also why some of us, including myself, have struggles with intuitive eating. Here’s what I have come to.

    1. What we seem to have agreed on here is that the main trigger of our BED is restrictions… we diet prohibiting ourselves certain foods and then we binge on them trying to get as much as we can in one sitting.

    2. The underlying premise of intuitive eating is that we should learn to listen to our body hunger/ satiation cues, because we were born with all the wisdom needed for eating intuitively. So we should eat what our body says it needs, when we’re hungry, and till we’re satisfied.

    This is where my first issue arises.

    I am sure we were born with this innate ability to eat only when we’re hungry, and this is how people used to eat. In fact, I doubt they used to eat three meals and a couple of snacks a day, but rather one large meal at the end of the day of what they managed to find or kill during hunting. This is what intermittent fasting is all about, but this is a different topic.

    What we kind of miss out, though, when we speak about re-learning how to eat intuitively is that the nature did NOT foresee that the food companies will develop foods high in refined sugars, carbs, saturated fats whose ONLY purpose is to make us want to eat more and more of them with every bite we take. “Bingeing on sugar can act in the brain in ways very similar to drugs of abuse,” says lead researcher and Princeton psychology professor Bart Hoebel. “If people eat starch and sugar in the morning, it’s very difficult to get their behavior in control and they’ll be craving sweets all day,” says Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

    I’ve browsed through a ton of blogs, forums, etc. where perfectly healthy people without BED say that if you put a bag of chips (candy, a bar of chocolate, etc.) in front of them and they take a few, they will not stop till they’ve eaten it all. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? These people do not have a BED, they eat ONLY because this is how this kind of food is meant to affect our bodies and brain. And there’s no way we have an inborn mechanism against it because this is something that could not have been foreseen by the nature (or another Creator).

    The point I’m making here is that I think (at least for me personally) certain restrictions are needed, at least in the beginning of the intuitive eating process. Our body is intoxicated with sweets and fats that are meant to trick our body into thinking that it is hungry and wants more. And if we keep listening to these false cues we may never get free from the vicious binge cycle. However, such restrictions do not mean that we don’t trust our bodies, we just cannot rely on our bodies around food like this because they get confused by the reactions the food triggers.

    Again, I’m not claiming I am right here… I’m just sharing what I’ve learned and what I’ve experienced personally… I had some chocolate last night. I stopped when I didn’t want it anymore. What is the first thing I am hungry for this morning?? Chocolate!! But I’m not having any because I know that if I don’t break this cycle now, it may continue forever. It has nothing to do with my feelings/ emotions or being kind to myself or anything else… It’s a purely physiological reaction similar to that to alcohol or drugs. I know that, and this is why restrictions in this case are not meant to “deprive” myself of anything, they’re meant to help my body in its confusion and help me eat intuitively in the long run.



    Well, to those who didn’t get tired reading the previous post… here’s another curious thing I’ve noticed on the topic of intuitive eating vs restrictions. And the thing is that we ARE restricting ourselves even when we think we’re not.

    I’ve looked at the posts about what we eat and analyzed what I eat myself when we’re trying to eat intuitively… What are the most common foods?

    Well, fat-free yogurt, for example. Do our bodies really want FAT-FREE yogurt when we’re hungry?? Does it taste better than that made from whole milk? Does it make us feel any better? Not really. I personally eat it because it tastes fine and it has fewer calories.

    The other popular food choices include skim milk, sugar-free desserts.. like jello, dark chocolate (instead of milk chocolate and chocolate bars), and a number of other low-calorie, fat-free versions of regular foods.

    Don’t all those qualify as restrictions, most likely caused by thinking about our weight?? I believe they do, at least as far as I’m concerned.

    The reason I decided to post this is to first of all tell myself that even with intuitive eating I may never get past certain restrictions, and this is FINE!

    My weight and my looks matter a lot to me, and this will never change. I’ve accepted that. I know that with intuitive eating (no restrictions, including those I just described) I may stay at what is considered my healthy weight (like right now), but will it make me happy? Not really. So weight loss is one of my major priorities, and I can tell myself till I’m blue in the face that this is a wrong mindset, but this is the kind of person I am, and I know how happy and proud I was just a few months ago and a few pounds lighter. It’s a very simple physical law that to lose weight the amount of energy intake should be less that the energy output. And this is why I eat fat-free yogurt and low-calorie snacks.

    I think it’s great that some of us were able to put the weight concerns aside and be content with whatever natural weight they are at with REAL intuitive eating! I’m not one of those lucky people, so what I choose is intuitive eating AND certain restrictions… because this is the only way to be as slim and healthy as I want.

    PS. I haven’t binged for a while, but I have been a bit heavy on sweets and some other not-so-healthy foods. It is not emotional, as I’m a pretty happy gal, it’s simply because at some point I let the chain reaction develop when I took a few first bites and let these addictive foods control my body impulses and send me wrong cues (see the previous post).



    here here i agree with everything uve said above and ur right if i go to bed on chocolate i wakeup wanting it and i shudnt but i did today and binge again i have

    no idea wat to do anymore xx

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